Monday, 17 October 2005

Nielsen On Blogging

Nielsen summarises his article "Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes", thusly:
Weblogs are often too internally focused and ignore key usability issues, making it hard for new readers to understand the site and trust the author.

So you don't need to read anymore. Actually if you're a blogger you probably should at least read the headings. So, er, here they are:
1. No Author Biographies
2. No Author Photo
3. Nondescript Posting Titles
4. Links Don't Say Where They Go
5. Classic Hits are Buried
6. The Calendar is the Only Navigation
7. Irregular Publishing Frequency
8. Mixing Topics
9. Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss
10. Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service

It's tempting to quote Balfour here, you know 'there were some things that were true, and some things that were trite; but what was true was trite, and what was not trite was not true'.

I mean, do photos really matter. I've been put off of plenty of Blogs by their author photo, for a start. As for biographies, quite a few top blogs are written anonymously (also isn't that rule sort of contradicted by rule 9?).

As a Blogger blogger rule 10 seems needlessly snarky. It's true that being free and easy has devalued blogspot addresses, but, surely, given that it's the content of your blog that's important the last 12 characters of your web address is of barely any consequence to anybody.

And as Boing Boing puts it:
[I] take exception to "8. Mixing Topics" in which he advises bloggers to restrict themselves to narrow subject-ranges. I believe that the thing that makes blogs so exciting to read is that they represent a view into the diverse interests of their authors.

So maybe the Balfour is apposite after all...

No comments: